From the Des Moines Register: Birdland Neighborhood the Focus of Redevelopment

The Des Moines Register wrote an article about the redevelopment happening in the Birdland neighborhood where we, and our friends Habitat for Humanity, are working to develop affordable housing. In the next year, we are committed to adding six homes to this neighborhood.  

In addition, this article shines a light on why are work is important.

"The work in the Birdland area highlights how nonprofits and public agencies are focusing their efforts to revitalize Des Moines' blighted neighborhoods, where home values have stagnated and private builders and developers have been unwilling to invest."

Plus a private developer succinctly mentions why it is hard for private builders and developers to focus on developing affordable housing:

“Don Brill, a veteran homebuilder who recently completed his 500th metro area house, estimated it would cost him at least $190,000 to build a no-frills three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the city.

But in areas like Birdland or MLK Jr. Park, such a home wouldn't sell for much more than $125,000, he estimated.

‘You're going to lose your socks, shoes and everything else on that deal,’ he said.

Lending is another hurdle.

Even if someone would be willing to pay $190,000 for a new home in the Birdland area, for example, getting a mortgage would be difficult, Brill said. Banks would reject the mortgage because adjoining homes would pull down its value.”

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